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Indoor drone visits hospital

This technology enables ceiling lights to act like an indoor GPS and transmit their location through a modulation of the light

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Children were able to communicate with the drone to play a life-sized game of tic-tac-toe
Children were able to communicate with the drone to play a life-sized game of tic-tac-toe

Philips Lighting has announced the first application of an autonomous, indoor drone that uses its Visible Light Communication (VLC technology) to navigate.

 

The drone, developed by Blue Jay, a team of 16 top students from different faculties across the Eindhoven University of Technology, was demonstrated at Maxima Medical Centre, the largest medical campus in the south-eastern Netherlands.

 

The drone uses Philips Lighting’s technology to pinpoint its location and navigate and act autonomously. This technology enables ceiling lights to act like an indoor GPS and transmit their location through a modulation of the light which is imperceptible to the human eye, but detectable by smart devices such as drones.

 

The wireless operation between the drone and its ground station is made possible by communication technology from NXP.

 

Blue Jay’s first autonomous, domestic drone claims to go beyond serving you a coffee and showed that it can play a game of tic-tac-toe with children who communicate with the drone through hand gestures. Additionally, the drone can pick up and deliver objects to a location to assist the less mobile.

 

Blue Jay established the world’s first Drone Café, a temporary café which had drones picking up and delivering items to tables, navigating by VLC. As well as Philips Lighting, partners of Blue Jay are TU/E, NXP and Fourtress. The camera on the drone does not record so no personal data is collected.

 

Philips VLC is privacy protected and will not ask nor store any personal data. Each light fixture is using one-way transmission of a luminaire ID or code to the drone using VLC. Philips Lighting has visualised drones and droids serving customers in its 2030 Smart City Life virtual reality video.

 

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